Electrical Circuit
Electricity and Magnetism

Testing pupils on series circuits

Diagnostic Questions for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

What the Activity is for

The diagnostic questions can be used to check the pupils' understanding of series circuits.

What to Prepare

  • printed copies of these diagnostic questions (see below)

What Happens During this Activity

The questions might be used for homework or as the basis for discussion in class.

Resistors in series: designed to probe pupils' understanding of how voltage is shared between two identical resistors in series.

(a) V1 reads 3 volt (b) The battery voltage is shared, half across each resistor.

Different batteries: probes pupils' understanding of the relationship between the battery voltage and the total voltage across external resistors.

  • V1 is 6 volt; V2 is 3 volt

Different resistors: probes pupils' understanding of how voltage is shared between unequal resistors.

  • V1 is 4 volt; V2 is 5 volt; V3 is 4 volt

Bigger resistance: probes pupils' understanding of how voltage is shared between unequal resistors.

  • V1 reads between 6 volt and 3 volt
  • The battery voltage is shared, with the larger share across the larger resistor.

Resources

Download the support sheet / student worksheet for this activity.

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